Elijah had been the instrument for revival and the destruction of the prophets of Baal. he was fearful of Jezebel with good reason and fled. He felt completely alone, isolated, and without power.
The first bit of encouragement to him was that there were more people that were faithful than him. The pagans had not destroyed every thing in their hateful pogrom.
The modern pagans are similar. They try to tell us that there is no one who has not agreed with their programme, or that to be a true patriot is to abandon God and join in the current worship of the lies of progression.
Event today, when discussing people of faith, the local media will turn from a young family whose Church has given them great courage to an Academic who preaches old tropes from the zombie branch of Churchianity.
“You wouldn’t dare be rude about religion 100 years ago, [but today] nobody would turn a hair if someone says they aren’t religious.”
He said churches are typically made up of elder generations who value local connections, whereas young people are more likely to seek their friends for help.He believed about 20 per cent of the population had some sort of contact with a religious group each month. South Auckland is the most religious part of New Zealand due to an “incredibly strong active community” within Pasifika churches.
Agnostics might pray during a crisis, but people of religion sustained themselves with “an internal mechanism to enable them to be more resilient”.
Not my experience. One of the signs of a healthy Church is that I’m one of the older ones. Another is that the pastor is talking about the babies in the church. If seven thousand had not bowed the knee to Ba’al in the time of Elijah, there are more now who do not do so.
9 There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 15 And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17 And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
The question we have to ask is not what model of salvation we have: at one end are the legalists who consider that if you do all the sacraments and keep canon law you will be saved, while the ultra-calvinists consider they can act as they will for God will save them. Both have lost prudence, and have no understanding that we cannot full comprehend the significance of the work of Christ.
You are not saved by your academic understanding of systematic theology. Peter Lineham, who was quoted by the media above, is more erudite than I. But I would rather hear a musician who has been led from playing guitar in worship to preaching talk about the gospel than here the counsel of despair.
That is always with us. We can learn from previous generations, yes, But we cannot alter that past. We can, however, let God imbue in us an understanding, step by step, of where our future leads.
5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 or “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Lineham is correct: for a believer trials bring endurance, endurance long suffering, and this builds a faith that means we have confidence in God regardless of the circumstances. For we know that in trials the church is being refined, and in times of freedom we can make disciples: in times of persecution we increase our fervour and make more disciples.
Yes, true religion gives resilience. It also gives an understanding of the spiritual aspects of life that our current liberty loving, economically driven and socially inept elite — both nominally left wing and right wing — lack.
But more than that: Christ blotted out our sins by his actions and this allows us to walk with God. And as Christ walked, so should we. We are in no way near as great or righteous as Christ.
The world hated him greatly. If they hate us little, then we have to examine ourselves. For signs of zombie status.